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    Example of Dental Emergencies

    medium_examples-of-dental-emergenciesIn spite of our best efforts, sometimes dental emergencies happen. When they do happen, they can be worrisome. There can also be a question of what exactly constitutes a dental emergency.  People are not always sure if they should wait to see the dentist during normal business hours, or if they should call immediately, regardless of the time of day. Let’s talk about examples of dental emergencies, and if you should wait to see the dentist—or if you should do an online search of the term emergency dentist Anchorage, AK.

    Identify Whether or Not Your Situation Is Urgent

    Some dental emergencies cannot wait for treatment; some emergencies might not be urgent, so you can wait to see your dentist. It’s important to know the difference when it comes to seeking treatment. Here are few examples of emergency situations that would likely be classified as urgent:

    • Swelling that is very painful
    • Bleeding that won’t stop
    • A toothache that hurts unbearably
    • A permanent tooth that becomes loose or that is completely knocked out
    • An injury to the jaw

    If you have any of the above situations occur, it is best to call your dentist immediately to deal with the situation right away.

    Here is a list of some situations that would not be considered an urgent dental emergency:

    • A cracked bridge or crown
    • A broken retainer or night guard
    • A lost crown or filling
    • A mild toothache
    • Food stuck between teeth

    If you have a nonemergency situation, you should still call your dentist and make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. But if it is after hours or the weekend, you are probably just fine waiting until the next available appointment.

    Preventing Dental Emergencies

    When you’ve had one dental emergency, you will probably vow to do whatever it takes to avoid having more emergencies in the future. When it comes to dentistry, prevention is key—and that is the case with emergencies as well. Those who visit their dentist regularly are less likely to have an unexpected emergency happen than those who don’t.

    Call Us for Your Next Appointment

    Stay on top of your oral health and do what you can to prevent dental emergencies from happen. Give us a call today to avoid emergency dentistry in Anchorage, AK!


    Finding the Right Dentist in Anchorage, AK

    medium_finding-the-right-dentist-in-anchorage-akIf you are in the middle of finding the right dentist, there are a number of factors you will want to keep in mind before making your decision. You want to find a dentist who will partner with you in maintaining your oral health for many years to come. You want to find a dentist will be a solid part of your overall wellness “team.” What kinds of things should you consider when you are looking for the right dentist in Anchorage, AK?

    The First Step: Ask Others for Recommendations

    You can do an online search for a dentist and have plenty of options pop up, but why not start with asking trusted family and friends if they would recommend their own dentist? This way, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of the type of doctor and the type of practice you might be dealing with. You can also reach out to your pharmacist or doctor and ask for recommendations.

    The Next Step: Ask Questions to Narrow Your Options

    You have a list of recommended dentists, so now you’ll want to find out the following to assess which might be the best dentist for you and your family:

    • Is the office in a convenient location with convenient hours? If not, this will make it tough for you to actually see your dentist. A location close to home or work makes the most sense.
    • Does the dentist submit insurance claims to all providers?
    • What payment options do they offer?

    Finally: Find Out About the Facility and Doctors

    You’ve got the logistics down about your potential new dentist, but what about the rest of it?

    • How does the dentist make patients feel more comfortable in the dentist chair? Do they offer sedation?
    • Is the office clean and comfortable?
    • What kind of technology is available?
    • Are emergency hours available for patients who have a dental emergency?
    • Are the doctors open and up front about treatment plans and cost estimates?

    Choosing a dentist in Anchorage, AK, doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. If you are looking for a new dentist, we invite you to give us a call!


    How to Prepare for Dental Implants

    Missing one or more teeth can cause a whole host of problems, including problems with eating and drinking. Missing teeth can also lead to more missing teeth if you don’t get the problem fixed sooner rather than later.

    If you have looked into getting your missing teeth replaced, you probably know that a bridge, dentures, or dental implants are among your options. You may also know that dental implants are usually considered to be the best replacement because they look and function most like your natural teeth, and they are long-lasting without the needed repairs and adjustments that go along with dentures.

    If you are looking at getting dental implants in Anchorage, AK, let’s take a look at how you can prepare for the process. It is a surgical procedure, and you should know what’s involved before you get started.

    Before the Dental Implant Placement Procedure

    The first thing you’ll need to do is to have a thorough examination done to assess the health of your mouth. In addition, your dentist will need to assess whether or not your jawbone is healthy enough to hold the implants. Your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and mouth, and there will likely be a model made as well. You will also go over your medical history, including any current issues and medications you might be taking.

    Depending on your unique situation, you and your dentist will discuss the best treatment plan for you. This will be based on the condition of your jawbone as well as how many teeth need replacing.

    Because this is a surgical procedure, your dentist will go over pain options as well as discuss both local and general anesthesia. If you will be put under during the procedure, you will need to arrange transportation afterward. Restrictions on eating and drinking before the procedure will also be discussed.

    What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure

    The entire process of getting dental implants take place over a period of about three to nine months. Your dentist will talk to you about what you can expect, including the following steps:

    • Your damaged teeth or tooth will be removed.
    • Your jawbone will be prepared for the surgery. A bone graft might be needed, but this will depend on the current health of your jawbone.
    • There is a healing process after the implants are placed into the jawbone that lasts a few months.
    • An abutment will be placed on the dental implant, and your new crown will be put on that.

    Don’t live with missing teeth! For dental implants in Anchorage, AK, contact Turnagain Dental!


    The Dental Implant Process

    Missing teeth are problematic for a number of reasons. If you are missing teeth, you might be feeling self-conscious about your smile. If you are missing teeth, you might have trouble eating and chewing properly. In addition, when you are missing one tooth, this can often lead to more missing teeth.

    Most people are aware that a dental bridge or dentures are an option, and both of these will work to give you back most of the function of your missing teeth. However, when considering the long-term, you may want to consider dental implants. Not only do dental implants look very much like your natural teeth, but the function of implants is closest to your natural teeth.

    If you have missing teeth, talk to your dentist in Anchorage, AK, to find out if dental implants are right for you.

    What Does It Mean to Get Dental Implants?

    If you have considered dental implants, you are probably wondering about the dental implant process. Let’s take a look at what you might expect.

    First, you will meet with your dentist in Anchorage, AK, for an initial consultation and examination. Afterward, your dentist will be able to tell you whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants.

    Next, your dentist will describe for you how implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. After they are placed, they will integrate into your bone and become a part of your body, just like your natural tooth root was. Usually made of titanium metal, the implants will be topped with a dental crown that looks very similar to your natural tooth after the jaw has healed.

    Once the dental implant process has been completed, you will have the form and function of your natural teeth. There are no eating or chewing restrictions with dental implants as there are with dentures.

    What Are the Benefits of  Dental Implants?

    The main advantage to dental implants is that they won’t slip around like dentures can. Another advantage is that they will prevent the jawbone from shrinking. The implants stimulate the bone the same way your natural teeth would, ensuring that the bone stays strong and healthy.

    Are Dental Implants Right for You?

    If you are missing one or more teeth, find out if dental implants are right for you by talking to your dentist in Anchorage, AK. Give us a call at Turnagain Dental today!


    I’m Having a Dental Emergency! What Do I Do?

    medium_im-having-a-dental-emergency-what-do-i-doNo question about it – a dental emergency can really wreck your day.

    Whether you woke up with sharp pain in your tooth or you were hit in the face by a surprise fly ball during your recreation league softball game, you need help and you need it quickly.

    If you need emergency dentistry in Anchorage, AK, you can turn to Turnagain Dental. We leave space in our schedule every day for the inevitable emergencies, so call us right away so we can get you in to assess the emergency and provide necessary treatment.

    It’s important to note that a dental office is set up to handle dental emergencies, not more serious or life-threatening issues. If you suspect a concussion or a broken bone or you are bleeding or having difficulty breathing, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately. We can deal with your dental emergency once you are safe!

    If you are a patient of record with Turnagain Dental and your emergency has happened after business hours (as is common for all kinds of emergencies!), don’t worry! We’ve still got you covered! Call the office number and you’ll be provided with instructions for contacting Dr. Wenzell after hours so that he can triage you and provide you with recommendations to keep you comfortable until we can see you.

    Here are the most common dental emergencies we see and what you can do until you can get in to our Anchorage dental office:

    Knocked-out or displaced teeth – If the tooth is knocked completely out, find the tooth (if possible) and handle it carefully, by the crown only. Rinse it in warm water, but don’t scrub and take care to not disturb the fragile tissue attached to the root. Place it in a cup of milk, salt water, or even your own saliva and contact us immediately. Ice packs and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory can help with the pain and swelling.

    Lost restorations – You can purchase over-the-counter dental cement at many pharmacies, and this can be used to temporarily hold a lost crown or other restoration. Call us so that we can replace the restoration more permanently. If you are feeling discomfort, apply ice packs and take Tylenol or ibuprofen.

    Abscesses and other infections – Infections in the teeth and gums can be incredibly painful. Call us right away. Infections should be handled quickly because they can spread to other teeth or even other areas of your body. A salt-water rinse and over-the-counter medication will help with the discomfort, and ice packs will help with the swelling.

    Bottom line – if you are in pain, call us right away! We are here to help you.


    Preparing for Your Oral Surgery

    If you have an oral surgery coming up, you probably have a lot of questions for your oral surgeon in Anchorage, AK.

    At Turnagain Dental, we are always here to help you by answering your questions and addressing your concerns!

    Many patients wonder what steps they can take to prepare themselves for their upcoming procedure. Most procedures, including wisdom tooth extraction and dental implant placement, don’t require a large amount of preparation on your part. The procedures aren’t long and complicated and recovery is fast.

    Here’s what you can do to make sure your treatment and recovery goes smoothly:

    1. Follow all of Dr. Wenzell’s instructions. If you need to pick up prescriptions prior to the procedure, make sure to do this.
    2. Stock your pantry with soft foods. Yogurt, pudding, smoothies, hard-boiled eggs, and cool soups, and protein shakes are all great choices for nutrition following oral surgery. Dr. Wenzell can let you know how many days you should be prepared for.
    3. Stop smoking. Smoking can interfere with recovery from oral surgery in a number of ways. The sucking action of smoking a cigarette can dislodge the clot from your socket, which is needed for healing. Smoking also causes blood vessels in your mouth to restrict, delaying the healing process. This delay can create a greater opportunity for infection or other complications. We can discuss smoking cessation options with you ahead of time.
    4. Schedule work and other activities accordingly. You will want to make sure you have a day off from work and other activities, like driving. If you are taking a prescription for pain, you want to be especially careful to avoid these types of activities. Arrange for a day or two off following your procedure as well.
    5. Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from your appointment. This will allow you to relax and take your medications right away.

    We want you to have an excellent experience. Any time you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Anchorage dental office and ask!


    Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrushes

    medium_electric-vs-manual-toothbrushesWe can all agree that brushing your teeth several times daily is vital for your at-home oral care routine. But with so many options available today for toothbrushes, it can be hard to decide which brush is right for you and your family. Both electric and manual toothbrushes offer benefits, so getting all the information about each of these tools is the best way to decide what will be best for you, and of course your dentist can help you make the decision as well!

    Manual Toothbrushes

    Manual brushes are of course the option we are all familiar with. One of the benefits of a manual brush is the wide array of options you have. You can choose softer bristles if you have more sensitive gums, a smaller brush head if you have a smaller mouth, and many different handle options for your comfort. Traditional brushes are easy to travel with since you don’t have to worry about a charger or batteries along the way. Another huge benefit of this option is that it’s cheaper, and if you’re keeping up with your regular dental cleanings, you probably get brushes for free each time you visit.

    The major cons of a manual brush are that it is more work, since you don’t have the motor to move the brush for you, and that there is not a timing option. Electric brushes often simply turn off automatically once you’ve brushed for the recommended amount of time.

    Electric Toothbrushes

    Electric toothbrushes are very easy to use. You can simply hold the brush, and push the button, and let the brush do the rest of the work for you. Since they often include a timed feature, you can be sure that you are brushing for the right amount of time, every time. Many studies have also found that electric brushes actually tend to clean teeth better than manual brushes, making it a more effective option for many people. Since oral health is so vital to your overall health, ensuring that you get a great clean everyday with brushing is very important.

    On the con side, electric brushes are much more expensive, both with the initial investment, and for replacement brush heads. You also have to be sure that you always keep your electric brush charged, or keep batteries around to ensure that it works properly. This option can often be breakable as well, so it’s important to be careful not to drop your brush on the floor.

    Dentist Anchorage AK

    If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule your cleaning with our dentist, give us a call today for more information! We look forward to helping you get the smile you’ve always wanted, and to helping you stay healthy!


    Dental Care Misconceptions

    medium_dental-care-misconceptionsMost people don’t enjoy visiting the dentist, we get it. But keeping up with your oral care habits is more important than you might think, and letting those dental appointments and at home care fall behind is a big deal. Here’s some of the most common misconceptions about dental care:

    Flossing isn’t as important: It’s very common for people to leave flossing out of their daily oral care routine, even though dentists have pushed it for probably your entire life. Flossing takes a little more time, but it cleans your teeth in a way that brushing simply can’t do. By removing the food particles between your teeth, you’ll be able to better prevent plaque buildup and decay over time.

    Gum disease is rare: Gum disease is something that we all need to worry about. It can occur even in patients who practice good at home care techniques, and preventing the condition means visiting your dentist regularly. If gum disease starts to form in your mouth, your dentist will be able to treat it before it worsens if you keep up with those six-month checkups. Gum disease is linked to many health conditions, and treatments can become expensive if you don’t catch it quickly.

    Oral health and overall health: When you think about your teeth and gums, it’s common to think that oral health only affects oral health. However in reality, oral health has been linked to many more serious health conditions including heart disease, pregnancy complications, dementia, respiratory diseases, and more. It’s worth any time you need to put in for your oral heath to reduce your risk of any of these conditions down the road.

    No pain, no problems: Many patients don’t visit the dentist regularly simply because they don’t have any oral pain, so they think everything must be fine. However, many oral health issues can occur without any pain, and will worsen if they are not treated in a timely manner. For example, cavities are often not going to cause any pain, but if left untreated, the decay will worsen and can become a root canal. Not only is the treatment much more expensive, but the condition CAN then become painful, and it can be completely avoided with quick treatment.

    Visiting the dentist is more important than you might think, and working with a great dentist can make the whole experience much easier.

    Dentist Anchorage AK

    If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment with our dentist, contact us today for more information! We look forward to helping you keep a healthy mouth!


    Why You Should Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

    medium_why-you-should-consider-cosmetic-dentistryCosmetic dentistry procedures are a great option for patients who are looking for aesthetic improvements to their smile! Many cosmetic procedures also improve the strength and overall health of your mouth, and our team offers a wide selection of treatments to help our patients with unique needs. Our treatment options for cosmetic dentistry include:

    Porcelain veneers: Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are custom fit to your teeth. A veneer is a great option for discolored teeth, or teeth that have chipped or broken, but do not need full replacement. It’s also a great option to fill gaps in teeth, or to reshape an odd tooth.

    Bonding: Dental bonding involves attaching a tooth-colored resin to your affected teeth. This is a great option for patients with smaller flaws on their teeth.

    Teeth whitening: Professional teeth whitening is safer and more effective than over the counter options. Your dentist will be able to work with you to determine your goal shade, and will provide custom whitening trays to get your smile brighter!

    Dental Implants: Dental implants are another popular treatment for cosmetic dentistry. If you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth, replacement is likely the next step. Dental implants involve a titanium post that is implanted to your jaw, and a natural looking and feeling crown. This is one of the strongest and most comfortable options available for tooth replacement today.

    Tooth-colored fillings: Instead of traditional metal cavity fillings, today we offer composite fillings, which offer a natural, tooth-colored look. This is often a more aesthetically pleasing option for our patients.

    Your smile is your first impression to new people you meet, and it’s something you should feel comfortable with and be proud of! At Turnagain Dental, we offer a wide array of cosmetic dentistry treatments to help each patient get the smile they’ve always wanted. Our dentist will consult with you to determine the best procedures to meet your needs both for your smile, and for your budget!

    Cosmetic Dentistry Anchorage AK

    If you have any questions about cosmetic dentistry, or if you’d like to talk to our dentist to determine if cosmetic dentistry services are right for you, give us a call today! We look forward to helping you get started towards a smile that you love!


    The Worst Foods for Oral Health

    medium_the-worst-foods-for-oral-healthYou probably already know that food and drink can affect your oral health, both positively and negatively. Prevention is the best way to keep a healthy smile, and that includes your diet! Here’s some of the worst foods and drinks that can cause dental issues:

    Hard and Chewy Candy: Hard candies or dense, chewy candies are particular bad for your teeth as they can easily break a tooth or pull out a filling. Candy also has such a high sugar content that you’re likely to increase your risk or decay over time if you eat it regularly.

    Ice: Many people have a habit of chewing on ice. This can break down your enamel and potential cause a dental emergency if the ice cracks a tooth.

    Coffee: Coffee can stain your teeth, and if you drink sweetened versions you’re also increasing your risk of tooth decay from the sugar exposure. Since this is a common habit for patients, we recommend drinking plenty of water in addition to any coffee to help prevent staining.

    Citrus: While citrus can be healthy for your body, over-eating citrusy foods can be detrimental to your teeth. Citrus wears away your tooth enamel, so it’s best to limit your intake.

    Soda: Another popular drink, soda is widely known to increase tooth decay. With so much added sugar to these drinks, your teeth will decay much more quickly if you drink soda normally. Your best option is to switch to water!

    While many food and drink items affect oral health negatively, making the switches away from these items can help you improve your oral health drastically. Your dentist can always answer any questions about specific items that you have concerns about, and preventative care is the best way to avoid big dental issues in the future.

    Dentist Anchorage AK

    If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for a cleaning, contact our office today to get started! Our team is always happy to answer any questions that you may have, and we can’t wait to help you get the smile and healthy mouth that you’ve always wanted! Our number one priority is to ensure that you and your family have healthy, strong teeth.